Recently appointed chief operations officer Monica Rothgery is the first female COO and first LGBTQ C-suite employee in the brand’s history, and she has a full plate of responsibilities in her new role.
Appointed in April of 2019, Monica Rothgery is making waves at KFC, starting with company culture according to an article published in QSR Magazine.
QSR reported that Rothgery began implementing changes at the employee level, creating KFC’s new “scoop to order” process à la Chipotle in April. To create such a vast operational change across a huge network of thousands of store was certainly a daunting task, but Rothgery believes that the results speak for themselves. In terms of speed-of-service, Rothgery told QSR, “We’re seeing [the restaurants] actually get back to where they were before, or improve even.”
Workers now scoop each side for every order as needed rather than spending extra time and labor pre-preparing sides. According to QSR, My-Oahn Flowers, Restaurant General Manager of the brand’s flagship store in Louisville, claims that previously, the role of preparation was tedious and unsatisfying. Now that workers have a higher-value role, customers receive a fresher product and stores are able to more efficiently portion control. The “scoop to order” process also allows for more customization from a consumer perspective, a feature becoming more and more popular as more stores implement digital ordering screens.
“This is so much behavior change and mindset change,” said Rothgery to QSR Magazine. “Change management is always the biggest hurdle. But once people believe and they can see the benefits then [I ask] do you want to go back?”
KFC is no stranger to change, frequently producing eye-catching collaborations to generate buzz, whether you’ve ever fathomed wanting to eat a Cheetos fried chicken sandwich or not. Implementing wide-scale structural changes and rebranding is something else, however, and a trend that many long-standing, iconic chains are attempting.
One of KFC’s biggest draws is the brand’s infamous signature recipe blend of 11 herbs and spices which allegedly hasn’t changed since its inception in 1940. A 2019 structural update seems to be serving the brand well, however, in an increasingly competitive QSR market.
Read the full story from QSR Magazine on the future of KFC here.